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NXP Semiconductors, a supplier to Apple, accused of anti-trade union activities in the Philippines

In May 2014 NXP Semiconductors was accused of sacking of 24 union workers for union activity.  In early August 2014 we contacted NXP and Apple regarding the allegations.  NXP denied it has done anything wrong (see full response below).  We also contacted Apple to respond to the criticisms of its reported supplier but it did not respond.  

In late August IndustriALL submitted a rejoinder to NXP's response disputing their claims.  We invited NXP to respond which it did in early September(see response and rejoinder below).

On 3 October IndustriALL and NXP announced a new labour agreement bringing an end to the dispute and obtaining satisfactory results for all the workers including the reinstatement of 12 of the workers.


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3 October 2014

Philippines: Unions announce new labour agreement with NXP & reinstatement of 12 members of union executive following global campaign

Author: IndustriALL

"Global campaign defeats union-busting attack at NXP", 29 Sep 2014

"Twelve dismissed members of the union’s executive will return to work, the other twelve will receive decent separation packages and become full time trade union activists, wage hikes of 12.25% over three years will be much higher than what the company previously said was possible, and a significant number of contractual workers will be regularized. But most important for the NXP workers, the company’s brutal attempt to bust the union was defeated...Dutch multinational NXP Semiconductors sacked all 24 elected union officials at its plant in a special economic zone in Cabuyao on 5 May for taking time off on national holidays. A number of security measures meant to intimidate workers were taken....An impressive local campaign by MWAP was supported internationally."

Read the full post here

NGO rejoinder
2 September 2014

Rejoinder from IndustriALL to NXP's response re union busting in Philippines

Author: Jyrki Raina, General Secretary IndustriALL

NXP Semiconductors labour abuses in Philippines, 26 Aug 2014

This letter is a response to the…letter you received from NXP Semiconductors in which the company attempts to justify its egregious labour abuses and union busting in the Philippines. NXP’s letter is both highly misleading and highly revealing about the company’s disdain for workers and their fundamental rights…The bottom line is that NXP sacked all 24 members of the elected union executive committee for not working on a series of public holidays.  While NXP states…that it is a “caring employer”, it justifies its behaviour by saying it is “standard industry practice by major manufacturers” to require workers to work on holidays….requiring workers to work against their will on holidays is not the mark of a “caring employer”.  Nor is responding to workers that do not report to work on holidays by terminating them…Hundreds of workers did not report to work…but NXP only terminated the union leaders among them.  What clearer sign could there be of NXP’s anti-union hostility….

Download the full document here

31 August 2014

NXP response to Union rejoinder

Author: NXP Semiconductors

We would like to reiterate that we stand by our earlier official statement, which aimed to correct false allegations, and misleading reports that have been coming out regarding NXP Semiconductors...We would like to put the issue into perspective and give the real score about the grave misconduct that led to our decision to dismiss a group of union leaders. The case of the 24 terminated employees is now pending before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) and all the responses and evidence have been submitted by both parties. We respect the judicial procedures and are letting the wheels of justice proceed...This issue of dismissal occurred in the middle of negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement when union leaders encouraged workers not to report for work on three occasions that were national holidays...We have lways respected the union’s right to go on strike, but in the same token we also expect them to follow the required and agreed protocols.

Download the full document here

28 August 2014

IndustriALL: Abuses by Apple’s supplier NXP get worse in the Philippines

Author: IndustriALL

Apple will launch the much-anticipated iPhone 6 from September, but a key component comes from NXP Semiconductors. Both NXP and Apple are ignoring their corporate and moral responsibility for 24 sacked trade union leaders in the Philippines. Until this grave labour rights violation is reversed, the iPhone 6 will be ethically flawed. A broad coalition of campaigning organizations is calling on NXP to reinstate 24 trade union leaders who were illegally sacked during CBA negotiations on 5 May. However, while the company has claimed to IndustriALL that it is intervening and seeking a resolution, the reality at the plant is that management is stepping up its effort to bust the union. Serious violations of workers’ rights are occurring on a daily basis and management refuses to take the essential step of reinstating the 24 union leaders....Over 150,000 consumers and activists wrote to Apple through a SumOfUs campaign to demand the technology giant intervenes and instructs NXP to act in line with Apple’s supply chain commitments. Although Apple have opened initial dialogue with IndustriALL, the 24 illegally sacked trade union leaders have not been reinstated.

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Company non-response
13 August 2014

Apple did not respond

Company response
10 August 2014

NXP Semiconductors response

NXP is a reputable company that respects the rights of its workers, strictly complies with the country's labor laws, and provides employees with above industry standard compensation and benefits...This issue of dismissal occurred in the middle of negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement when union leaders encouraged workers not to report for work on three occasions that were national holidays. In fact it is unfortunate that, even while negotiations were on-going, numerous illegal acts like vandalism, noise barrages resulting to destruction of company property, mass protests specially blocking our buses to force disembarkation of our passengers, pickets in and outside company premises and private areas were sanctioned by the union leadership. The spike in absences greatly impacted NXP's ability to serve its clients and was a clear violation of Philippine labor laws. Furthermore, contrary to what they are saying, the policy of reporting for work during holidays is compliant with Philippine labor laws. It is a standard industry practice by major manufacturers to require workers to report for work even for holidays in order to meet global production schedules...The above mentioned illegal actions by the union leaders left the company with no choice but to make the painful decision to dismiss them to ensure NXP's uninterrupted operations in the Philippines...

Download the full document here

16 July 2014

IndustriALL: "iPhone 6 supplier NXP ramps up intimidation and delaying tactics"

Author: IndustriALL

NXP Semiconductors...is further intimidating workers and using delaying tactics to break trade union demands to reinstate 24 illegally fired workers in the Philippines. The Dutch multinational, which is reportedly supplying technology for Apple’s new iPhone 6, sacked 24 trade union leaders from the Metal Workers Alliance of the Philippines (MWAP) on 5 May for not working on a series of public holidays. Now the company is said to have conveyed through the ministry of labour that it wants to try and pay off the illegally sacked workers, effectively removing the trade union leadership from the plant. MWAP has rejected this offer. Despite assurances, NXP has failed to bring a new negotiating team to the table for talks with IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, MWAP, this week, delaying a critical conciliation meeting. In the meantime, the 24 fired trade unionists face yet another week without work and without pay...Jyrki Raina, IndustriALL’s general secretary, said:“NXP must end the delaying tactics, stop the intimidation and bring back the workers now. NXP’s cynical strategy to draw out proceedings and break the resolve of 24 loyal workers and trade union leaders, some of whom have been with the company for 20 years, is an overtly aggressive case of union busting, contravening all international standards on labour legislation.”

Read the full post here

9 July 2014

IndustriALL calls on Apple to intervene to ensure the return to work of 24 sacked unionists

Author: IndustriALL

"IndustriALL flags labour violation in iPhone 6 production", 9 Jul 2014

Electronics multinational NXP will reportedly supply the microchip technology in the new iPhone 6. IndustriALL Global Union has called on Apple to intervene and ensure a fair settlement in NXP’s Philippine operations, including a return to work for 24 sacked trade unionists...IndustriALL Global Union general secretary Jyrki Raina explained in his 8 July letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook: The malicious union-busting by NXP management in Cabuyao, Laguna, Philippines casts a dark shadow over the upcoming iPhone 6. Consumers will be disappointed to learn that at this key stage in the production of the iPhone 6 workers are denied their fundamental rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining. If Apple does not urgently act to fix this problem, the sacking of 24 trade union activists under fraudulent pretenses to punish workers for organizing will not only constitute a bad breach of international instruments ILO Conventions 87 and 98, it will send the clearest signal of Apple’s attitude towards the workers in the developing world who make their products.  We expect an urgent and effective intervention from Apple to fix this problem at NXP Philippines so that you continue to source from this facility while ensuring it complies with your supplier responsibility guidelines. 

Read the full post here

7 May 2014

IndustriALL accuses NXP Semiconductors of sacking 24 union workers to weaken bargaining power of union

Author: IndustriALL

"Philippines: Entire union executive sacked for not working on national holiday", 7 May 2014

IndustriALL Global Union’s metalworker affiliate in the Philippines MWAP is fighting back against a mass sacking on 5 May of 24 union officials at NXP Semiconductors in Cabuyao, Laguna. Management and government is colluding to bust the union, one of the few that successfully organizes workers in the country’s Free Trade Zones...The move is obviously a malicious attack on the workers who are currently undergoing a struggle to conclude a new collective bargaining agreement package.  The dismissal of the officers is meant to weaken the bargaining power of the union. In a memo dated May 5, 2014, the NXP management said the union officers “participated knowingly in illegal strike” and “are deemed to have lost their EMPLOYMENT status pursuant to law”.  It further said that “the officers were terminated for just cause … illegal strike on April 9, and other following holidays."The union clarified that the management was referring to the workers' refusal to work overtime last April 9, 17, 19 and May 1, which are all public holidays. April 9 was Araw ng Kagitingan (National Valor Day) while April 17 & 19 were Maundy Thursday and Good Friday which are widely-observed in this Catholic-dominated country. As for May 1, which is International Labor Day, the union and the company has a standing agreement that all union members will be off from work and will participate in Labor Day activities...Prior to the dismissal, Alcantara said that the management also harassed the peaceful concerted actions of the workers, such as the protest march in front of the gates of the industrial enclave.  Security guards were deployed in shuttle buses and the workers were barred from getting off from the buses to prevent them from participating in the union activity.  

Read the full post here